Are Kenya And Other African Countries Being “Considered” By China For Military Bases ?

Chinese military in formal uniform
Credit: Kenyan News

A Pentagon report has hinted that China is eyeing to set up military bases across the world, of which Kenya, Angola, and Tanzania are part. The report, which was entitled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2020” said, “ The PRC (Peoples Republic of China) has likely considered Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan as locations for PLA (People’s Liberation Army) military logistics facilities,” said the Pentagon in its annual “China Military Power.”

The report further claimed that “The PRC has probably already made overtures to Namibia, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands. Known focus areas of PLA planning are along the SLOCs (Sea Lines of communication) from China to the Strait of Hormuz, Africa, and the Pacific Islands” 

According to Asian Review, the report suggests that “Beijing will at least double its nuclear warhead stockpile over the next decade from its current estimated level in the low 200s. It extensively discussed the Chinese strategy of military-civil fusion, which includes “leveraging civilian service and logistics capabilities for military purposes.”

Beijing has however rejected the account, calling it an act of propaganda. Xueqing Huang, the Chief of Information and Public Affairs Section for the Embassy of China in Kenya, is reported by Business Daily to have condemned the report saying that “the information mentioned…is totally false… Their (Pentagon) latest report is just the same as the previous fact-neglecting and bias-brimming.” Mr. Huang also reacted that “Chinese MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] spokesperson has urged them to stop issuing irresponsible reports year after year, and ‘abandon the outdated cold-war mentality and zero-sum game mindset,” Business Daily reported. In 2017, China opened its first military base in Djibouti, a place Beijing has termed as only a support base for such purposes as humanitarian aid and escort missions. The Pentagon report also revealed that “the Chinese military’s presence in Djibouti provides Beijing with “the ability to support a military response to contingencies affecting China’s investments and infrastructure in the region” and the roughly 1 million Chinese citizens in Africa and the 500,000 in the Middle East.”

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